Links for Monday, April 20, 2015

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  • Art + cultural studies + data analytics + Instagram: a visual history of everyday life in Kiev during the Ukranian revolution, from Lev Manovich and his lab.
  • Participants in the Digital Public Library of America's DLPAfest discussed "everything from technology and development, to (e)books, law, genealogy, and education." Peruse notes from the meeting here.
  •  Alice Dreger, a bioethicist and historian of medicine, made national headlines earlier this week when she live tweeted her son's abstinence-only sex ed class. Check out New York Times's review of Dreger's latest book, Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, in which Dreger reflects on the role of academics in social movements.
  • A Kickstarter for Kidneys? A recent case in Belgium has raised ethical questions about using social media to find an organ donor (without the waiting list).
  • Five years ago today, BP and Transocean's Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in a catastrophe that scientists are still trying to understand and measure. Watch artist and science communicator Perrin Ireland's video that explains how scientists continue to respond to the ongoing crisis.
  • Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg recently named thirteen classic science books for the general reader in an article for The Guardian, that is itself a sort of super-brief history of science (from a very particular perspective). Fortunately the historian of science Rebekah Higgitt also writes for the newspaper. She has pointed out the presentist rhetoric of the piece and suggests some updates to the list of books. 
  • This month's issue of e-flux, the online art theory magazine, includes a number of good essays about infrastructure and technology as they relate to sovereignty and capitalism in the twenty-first century.
  • A group of academics, scientists, and environmental activists this week published the Ecomodernist Manifesto, a call not to scale back global human development efforts (farming, energy extraction, etc), but rather to intensify these efforts in ways that somehow "use less land and interfere less with the natural world." See the New York Times's coverage here.
  • A handful of mutual funds often owns large fractions of several companies in the same industry. Economists at Charles River Associates and the University of Michigan have made a novel and radical argument: that these funds function like Gilded Age trusts, reducing competition and raising prices for the rest of us.

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